Wall Street thrives and relies on numbers. Anything that’s measurable and helps forecast investment value is eventually used in formulas and algorithms.
COVID-19’s global spread, however, has confronted stock market analysts with a unique challenge. The virus’ unique characteristics—especially the 14-day incubation period—have made it problematic for medical professionals to accurately forecast and adequately prepare for.
Calendar Q4 earnings results are almost all in for the nearly 200 essential services companies in our Utility Report Card coverage universe.
Takeaway one: Except for the handful of weaklings headed for bankruptcy like Frontier Communications (NYSE: FTR), most are thriving and dividends are safe.
Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) expects its revenue growth to accelerate to “mid single digits” in 2020 from last year’s 0.8 percent. That’s based on three drivers.
First is continuing Q4’s favorable trends in wireless and broadband customer additions. The second is accelerating growth in business revenue, as advanced services adoption speeds up with 5-G. And the third is stabilized media services sales, following recent streamlining.
It’s been a difficult couple of years for AGL Energy (ASX: AGL, OTC: AGLXY), Australia’s largest power producer and electricity retailer.
First came the National/Liberal Party federal government’s aggressive reaction to rising prices for natural gas and electricity—a trend AGL had correctly bet on that resulted from a dramatic increase in the country’s LNG exports.
Intense competition, hefty capital spending needs and erratic regulation have made the communications sector an investment minefield. But Conservative Holding Comcast Corp (NSDQ: CMCSA) remains a model of consistency, adding new business while growing cash flow and dividends.
Energy pipelines are the highest yielding sector in our Utility Report Card coverage universe. Ironically, after a five-year bear market, dividend risk is actually quite low for the handful of companies and master limited partnerships we track.
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Roger's current take and vital statistics on more than 200 essential-services stocks.